Addicted To Gambling?

addicted-to-gamblingLooking back a decade ago, the notion that a person could become addicted to gambling the same way another person gets addicted to drugs was very controversial. Pathological gambling was deemed to be more of a compulsion than an addiction, which was translated to a behavioral activity driven by the desire or need to relieve tension or anxiety and not a pure craving.

Today, with advanced research and scientific studies ion the effect of gambling on the brain, gambling has been seen to have the same effects on the brain as addictive drugs such as cocaine.

At the center of the cranium, there are a number of intertwined circuits that are commonly referred to as the reward system which link brain regions involved in pleasure, memory, motivation and movement. When a person engages in a euphoric activity, the neurons in the reward system release dopamine, which is a feel good hormone that gives the feeling of satisfaction. When stimulated by an addictive drug, the reward system releases up to 10 times the normal amount of dopamine.

The continued use of drugs robs the brain the power to induce the sense of euphoria and a person is forced to take higher doses in order to get the feeling of satisfaction. This is the same way gambling addiction affects the brain. Therapists have come to find that gambling addicts respond better to medication and therapy used on drug addicts as opposed to strategies geared towards taming the compulsion to gamble.

If you are a compulsive gambler yourself or know of someone who is, then getting speedy help is important as it involves much more than a mere desire to gamble. It is something more intricate that involves the brain’s functionality and getting the right help as soon as possible is what will eradicate this problem.